Posted by: Angela Yen on October 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

Happy Halloween from the Museum of Vancouver!

Here are Five fun items we've found in the MOV collection!

Paper pumpkin

1945 to 1962

Artefact History

This collection was donated by Mrs. Dorothy Sloan who, along with her husband J. Sloan, owned The Dance Novelty Bureau, located at 570 Granville Street. The store opened in 1931 and closed in 1962, changing management and location occasionally. See Documentation Specific File for more information taken from the Vancouver Directories.

Halloween at Retinal Circus handbill 1968



Artifact History

Donor has been called "the meister of Vancouver rock memorabilia." He is the owner of Vancouver's well-known Neptoon Records, which sells music, posters, and in particular, 1960s psychedelia. The Retinal Circus was a club on Davie Street that regularly booked psychedelic, blues, rock and rockabilly bands. Just like in San Francisco, local artists designed posters to announce shows from all kinds of bands of the day, including many of the ones from California and the rest of the USA. This handbill was designed Frank Lewis, an artist from Victoria, B.C. His career took him eastward in the late 1950s where he worked as a professional illustrator. In 1963, his work was placed in the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators Show. He returned to the West Coast in the late 1960s, where he primarily worked on large-scale projects such as murals and corporate commissions. Other well known Vancouver poster artists from this period were Bob Masse, Steven Seymour and Eric Fisher.

Martian Halloween costume


1945 to 1962

Artifact History

This collection was donated by Mrs. Dorothy Sloan who, along with her husband J. Sloan, owned The Dance Novelty Bureau, located at 570 Granville Street. The store opened in 1931 and closed in 1962, changing management and location occasionally. See Documentation Specific File for more information taken from the Vancouver Directories.

Halloween party invitation c. 1930


Artifact History

removed from Harper residence at 2950 West 8th ave Vancouver.

Poster: The Noise of Kitsilano

1970s (?), 1980s (?)

Artifact History

This flyer was kept by Ray and Patsy Chouinard.

Cool Aid was created by young people, including Ray Chouinard, to offer assistance to young people without "laying any heavy trips on them". It began by offering emergency housing, counselling and assistance during bad drug experiences. At this time, the 4th Avenue area was thronged with young adults who had left home and drifted towards the alternative scene in Vancouver. Patsy studied art in Saskatchewan until 1970, when she was recruited by the Cool Aid to come to Vancouver and establish a pottery factory as an employment project for "transient youth". She supervised the installation of a huge kiln at the Cool Aid Craft Factory, which was established in Yaletown with an L.I.P. grant. Patsy moved in to Cool Aid's main house on West 7th, near Arbutus. The Cool Aid house ran a daily "feed in". This required such huge quantities of rice, beans and vegetables that Patsy finally organized the EAT ME Food Co-op. Anyone could become a member and by collectively buying in bulk, they managed to reduce prices and created access to foods that were unavailable in regular supermarkets. In addition, Cool Aid ran a farm, "Little Switzerland", in the mountains behind Chilliwack.

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

What do you design?
ChopValue™ designs high performance home decor products - entirely made of recycled bamboo chopsticks. We create composite materials with a wooden texture ending up as tiles for walls and flooring, coasters and small objects as well as shelving - even table tops. 

Why do you design?
We design because we are builders, young designers, product developers and carpenters by heart with the motivation to add value to under-utilized urban waste resources. With our background in working with wood and bamboo for new materials we founded ChopValue to tell the story on how to redefine waste as new resources for a second life. 

Why do you do this in Vancouver?
Vancouver is not only one of the most livable cities in the world but also home for its popular Asian cuisine. Being as a society very perceptive to recycling with initiatives like Zero Waste or Circular Economy, ChopValue started its collection campaign for chopsticks with local restaurants in Vancouver neighbourhoods to set an example of how to involve businesses, communities and households in designing new products out of a material that any Vancouverite can identify with.  

Meet Felix and get a closer look at this products at Why I Design: Friday, November 4.

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 

1) My favourite from the entire collection. It captures a group of people who are individual and closed off from each other and striking their different poses, but at the same time there's a sameness and mundanity in their actions that pegs them as part of the same. It captures a visual of everday life that didn't seem extraordinary at the time (people making phone calls at a phone booth) but in the present is special and a kind of historic evidence, because it's a visual that would simply not exist today due to the changes in technology. The composition is also great with its strong horizontal lines, the fashionable young man facing head on and slightly off centre. Each person is wonderfully framed by the walls of the booth that if you were to zoom in on each booth you'd have another great image. This photo has a lot going for it.

February 15, 1972 - Pay phones at the Vancouver International Airport. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 72-0514)

2) This one is a favourite for its display of typical male fashion at the time (denim jacket, thick mustache, cowichan sweater) and how they look like they could be two regular guys hanging out today in East Van. 

May 3, 1972 - Photographers Rod Gillingham (left) and Curt Lang, who received a Local Initiatives grant. Photo by Deni Eagland (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 72-14383)

3) Pure joy and fanatstic energy in this photo. When you read the school was demolished later that year it puts that emotion in check.

May 11, 1972 - Students at Sir William Dawson elementary school in the West End. The 1913 school was demolished at the end of the school year. Photo by Peter Hulbert (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 72-1526)

4) The image is multicultural without it being political or the focus of the photo. It's just two kids hanging out by Coal Harbour and one of them has awesome pants.

October 7, 1972 - Brad Kilburn and Willy Ivory take in the view of Coal Harbour from Stanley Park. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 72-3309)

5) The area around Main and Cordova obviously looks very different now than it did in 1972 which is why this photo is interesting - to a modern Vancouverite, the odd thing about it isn't the pile of garbage but that the rest of the street is immaculate, shiny and bright.

May 5, 1972 - A municipal workers’ strike results in piles of trash in the Main and Cordova area. Photo by George Diack (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 72-1519)

Exhibtion Sponsor

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 26, 2016 at 11:11 am

What is your design and what are you presenting at Why I Design?
We have designed a fully enclosed, pedal-electric trike for use in one-way sharing networks that we call Veemo. It is regulated as an e-bike, meaning it can ride in bike lanes and doesn't require a driver's license, yet offers much of the functionality of a small car.

Why do you design?
I design to solve modern environmental and sustainability issues.

What is your design background?
Mechanical Engineer from UBC. I have been pushing the boundaries of 3D CAD design for a very long time.

What about Vancouver inspires you and your work?
Vancouver has been the prototypical city to inspire the creation of our Veemo. We have a lot of rain and hills, increasing bike lane infrastructure, concerns about cyclist safety, significant issues with bicycle theft, great support for carsharing, good urban density, and a healthy and active population interested in clean air and less gridlock traffic.

Meet Kody Baker and see a demonstration of this incredible vehicle at Why I Design: Friday, November 4.

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 26, 2016 at 10:44 am

Why do you design?
I design because I am curious, when I recognize a problem, I try to understand it from all angles and then want to translate it into a solution.  I care about people, I design because it is my way of serving our human community, designing allows me to express my vision. It is not the design itself, but how it makes you feel, what it can do. The design is never for me but for the user. 

What is your design background?
I am a trained woodworker and architect (restoration). As a kid I always sculpted creatures in clay, built windmills from spare parts, built 'different' pens for my rabbits. For years (1993-1999) I designed and built one off pieces of furniture and kitchen rebuilds for people, specifically for them and their space. While working in Afghanistan I designed large woodwork commissions like the library in the new Afghan Embassy in Tokyo.

What were the most important elements you considered in the conceptualization and design of the Alinker?
The isolation and stigma people with disabilities experience with the use of traditional mobility aids. I can go to the bike shop and choose the coolest bike for 5000$ or choose a city bike for 400$, but the moment I have a disability, there are no cool things to choose from. Mobility aids are a technical solution for a body with a problem, it focuses on the problem and creates social awkwardness. I wanted to make something so cool, that it would overcome the discomfort other people have with disabilities by focusing on possibilities and create inclusion. Recently Alinkers were used on the runway of the LA Fashion Week and in Moscow during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in events from Bezgraniz Couture who designs cool and wearABLE clothing for people with disabilities. That is where we can bridge and build inclusion, showing that disability does not mean that you can't be cool anymore. John Perry Barlow said, using the Alinker since his legs got paralyzed:' I never cared to be cool, until i was not cool anymore'. 

When will we see the Alinker on the streets in Vancouver?
There are already a few Alinker users in Vancouver and I hope soon many more. We have a new website with an online shop now. It is a new product and it takes time, it takes exposure and as a start up we have limited resources and cannot be everywhere at the same time. Modeling at events what the Alinker can do is important, liaising with the right partners, building a community of inclusion. For the early adopters, people who have a vision for themselves, who want to stay active no matter what, see it, want it and it changes their lives. Each time it is incredible to hear the stories they share with us how much it impacts their health and social lives. It impacts me emotionally and motivates me to do what we need to do in this seemingly impossible task of bringing a completely new product to market.

Meet Barbara Alink and see a demonstration of her innovative creation at Why I Design: Friday, November 4.

The Alinker was featured in this show during the recent Russian Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week:

Bezgraniz Couture- Spring/Summer 2017 from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Rus on Vimeo.


Posted by: Angela Yen on October 21, 2016 at 10:00 am

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 


1) A quintessential fashion shot of beautiful diverse women in the seventies!

June 16, 1971: Miss B.C. Centennial contestants (L-R) Sandra Spates, Terri Unger, Wanda Hayward, and Lesley Punter on Granville Street. Photo by Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 71-2019)

2) Brilliant contrast between the couple walking into the theatre and the one behind them. Lending to an interpretation that subtly suggests a passage of an older generation to a new, daring and edgier generation.

August 30, 1971: People arrive at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a performance of the rock musical Hair. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 71-2993)

3) Capturing the spirit of the decade - natural, free and exposed.

July 19, 1971: The photo of a hippie family at Wreck Beach—Tom X, Ellen Hill, and daughter Isabel Johnson—won photographer Glenn Baglo his second National Newspaper Award. Photo by Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 71-2448)

4) Artistic and humorous at the same time. There is also a surreal, otherworldy quality but when you notice the Vancouver skyline the photo becomes grounded and familiar.

October 13, 1971: Students Denise Quakenbush and Mimi Maier on their way to Henry Hudson elementary school in Kitsilano. Photo by  Ken Oakes (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 71-3494)

5) The young man stands confidentally with the sign advocating for gay rights which is striking when you think how this is still a controversial issue today, provoking the viewer to question just how much progress has been made in terms of equal civil and human rights in North America.

January 31, 1971: Member of the Gay Liberation Front of Vancouver in demonstration outside 795 Seymour Street. Photo by  Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 71-0361)

Exhibition Sponsor

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Today at the Museum of Vancouver, major players in B.C.'s government and music industry annouced exciting changes to the Province's liquor laws.

(From left to right) Nick Blasko – advisory committee, BC Music Fund, John Yap – Richmond Steveston MLA, Coralee Oakes – Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction, Graham Henderson –  President of Music Canada, Catherine Runnals  – President of Brand Live

The Province is modernizing B.C. liquor laws and cutting red tape for businesses by simplifying the application process for festivals, concerts and other cultural events.

Previously, only non-profit organizations could apply for a Special Occasion Licence (now Special Event Permit) and were responsible for liquor service at the event, even when it was organized by a third party.

This change allows businesses to apply for a Special Event Permit and accept liability for liquor service at the event. Removing the requirement for charities to be involved in the permitting process will cut red tape for event organizers.

“These changes are the result of consultations with industry and an important step forward in our continued work to modernize B.C.’s liquor laws by cutting red tape for businesses. We expect these changes will increase the number of special events held throughout B.C. and strengthen patronage of the arts in our communities,” stated Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Quick Facts:

  • Effective Jan. 23, 2017, any type of business or individual can apply for a Special Event Permit.
  • Recently, the Province cut red tape for the music industry by creating a more streamlined liquor permit application that requires only one application for an event with multiple venues over multiple days.
  • The Province also recently introduced alternate use for liquor primary venues, allowing them to hold all-ages events as long as liquor is not available.


For more info read the official press release here.

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Vancouver in the Seventies: Photos from a Decade that Changed the City is now on view at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibition displays over 400 photos from The Vancouver Sun collection. 

To get a closer look and to celebrate some of these stunning photographs, each Friday we'll be selecting our Five Favourite Photos from each year of the seventies. 

The photos I chose as my Five Favourites are based on whether it captures a moment of historical signifcance in Vancouver, or just an everyday sort of oddness that is unique in its mundanity. 

Protest march against the Vietnam War and the War Measures Act on Granville mall.

October 30, 1970  Glenn Baglo   (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-3287)

Ten-year-old Steven Miller gets a lift from his twelve-year-old brother Craig at a downtown department store.

January 2, 1970 Dan Scott (Courtesty of The Vancouver Sun 70-0014)

Sun photographer Glenn Baglo’s photo of a woman unable to get into a faith healing meeting at the PNE Agrodome won the rookie photographer a National Newspaper Award.

April 10, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesty of  The Vancouver Sun 70-2235)

Men on park benches at English Bay. 

July 5, 1970  Glenn Baglo (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1244)

Foncie Pulice, a Granville Street fixture for forty-five years before his retirement in 1979, chronicled the changing city, from the fashions to the streetscape, in millions of pictures. *Note the advertisement for the Vancouver Museum & Planetarium behind Foncie Pulice.

August 28, 1970  Deni Eagland (Courtesy of The Vancouver Sun 70-1931)

Exhibition Sponsor

Posted by: Angela Yen on October 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm

On Thursday October 6, the Museum of Vancouver got to know another fascinating collector featured in current exhibition All Together Now: Vancouver Collector & Their Worlds. Kyle Seller's vintage pinball machines including, Funhouse (1988), Cyclone (1988) and Jack-Bot (1995) and classic arcade games like Donkey Kong are on display and also available to public to try out and play! Seller was joined by the current International World Pinball Champion, Robert Gagno and pinball expert and moderator of the night, Tommy Floyd. Together they walked the guests through the pinball room discussing the development of the game over the years, the history of each individual machine and how they got invovled in the world of pinball.

The night capped off with Seller opening up one of the machines revealing the inner workings of a dot-matrix-display (DMD) pinball machine, and Gagno's intense playing demo where he gave a glimpse into how a pro pinballer plays the game.

Be sure to check out our other upcoming pinball events: Happy Hour: TILT! Public Pinball Tournament and WIZARD MODE: Special film screening



Posted by: Anonymous on October 5, 2016 at 11:47 am

Written by Greg Sikich, Post-Graduate Museum Studies student at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The Vancouver History Galleries at Museum of Vancouver provide a chronological story of place. With a diverse range of information, visitors can select from multiple entry points to develop an understanding of the Vancouver story. 

Energy, good fortune and the evolving aspirations of a diverse people are all woven into the story. A key theme of change, and a willingness to routinely re-vision the social, environmental, political and economic fabric of Vancouver life is displayed over six galleries.

Provoking conversation upon entering the first gallery is the Musqueam First Nation story: c̓əsnaʔəm, the City Before the City. The Musqueam are one of the oldest continuing inhabitants of the Vancouver area. The objects on display unpack the rich societal traditions of the Musqueam people. Dialogue in this introductory section to the Vancouver History Galleries expands the traditional narrative of the colonizer by sparking an open discussion about the Musqueam influence in shaping Vancouver. The ongoing story of the Musqueam enables conversation about the rich land that Vancouver shares and the long standing traditions embedded.

Moving further into the Vancouver History Galleries, entering:1900s-1920s: The Gateway to the Pacific, one begins to sense the excitement that early migrants would have felt arriving in such a humble port town. For example, the Chinese migrant is positioned as a valuable asset to early ‘Saltwater City’ by making positive contributions in logging, sawmills, market gardens and as domestic hands. In addition, the Jewish migrant is reflected in the working class fabric of young Vancouver, taking on roles as furriers and shoemakers. Commerce, labour and a driving spirit to achieve financial fortune is echoed throughout the beginning part of Vancouver History Galleries.

Notions of urban growth becomes clear when visitors walk across a massive town planning map on the floor in the centre of the first gallery. The Victorian values of “clean, moral pursuits” are coupled with sound financial opportunities in the shop window displays around this floor map. In addition, the challenges posed by a city growing into a melting pot of cultures are fused into the didactics as Vancouver ripens into a new cosmopolitan centre during the early twentieth century. It is interesting to read how new ideas and perspectives on sharing a geographically rich space are embedded into the story of Vancouver.

An immersive history experience gobbles the visitor up with re-created shop facades, period houses, street scenes and even a tram to jump on board for a photo opportunity. Visitors can ‘step inside’ Vancouver’s past by becoming fully immersed in each decade of the exhibition. Numerous objects, photographs and tactile materials allow visitors opportunity to engage in each immersive section. This helps visitors gain a real sense of the everyday experiences of Vancouverites through the ages. This approach to showcasing history in a museum brings to mind recent visits to the Chinatown Museum in Melbourne, Australia, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and Glenbow in Calgary, Alberta. All three feature immersive, recreated sets of significant historical moments that engage with the senses.

The notion of Vancouverites truly knowing how to push boundaries and embrace change during both prosperous and challenging times becomes evident during the interwar years as explored in the gallery, 1930s-1940s: Boom, Bust, and War. Topics of amalgamation, labour movements and local gardening initiatives all establish an innovative population. Visitors are able to participate in this space by posting childhood memories from growing up in Vancouver on a cork board; thus, connecting the present to the past and enabling conversations about change and continuity. Vancouver History Galleries becomes personal at this stage of the experience as visitors can contribute their story to the chronologic history unfolding throughout the space.

A highlight in Vancouver History Galleries is the portion that discusses the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II.  The Japanese began arriving in Vancouver in 1877. They comfortably established themselves in the Powell Street area. As more migrants from Japan arrived, nagaya (side alleyways), reminiscent of cities in Japan, filled with an assortment of businesses and social facilities. Though gaining citizenship rights was limited, the Japanese community continued to establish a proud identity within Vancouver and demonstrated support for the young nation of Canada.

In collaboration with the Japanese Canadian National Museum, Vancouver History Galleries provides a factual and unbiased look at the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II. A variety of perspectives are evidenced using primary source documents from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Labour and the Department of the Secretary of State. Through these viewpoints, the plight of Japanese internment becomes a discussion point. Adding a further layer of reality to these documents of exclusion and confiscation without consent are the voices of those Japanese who experienced forced re-location. These testimonies of forced uprooting delivers an honest and reflective part to the World War II portion of the gallery. Visitors engage with both written and visual accounts, past and present, to assist in developing an understanding to a challenging moment in Canadian history. At the conclusion of the gallery, visitors leave a turbulent time in human history with the 1988 Government of Canada acknowledgement of the injustices imposed upon Japanese Canadians during this period of global conflict. It is good to provide opportunities to discuss these moments in our collective past. By having these types of provoking conversations in museums, Vancouver, and Canada as a whole, can thrive in an internationally integrated world and facilitate meaningful intercultural understanding.

At the conclusion of the Vancouver History Galleries, neon lights and music change the reflective wartime tone and trumpet in an exciting future for Vancouver through to the 1970s. Immersive and tactile exhibition design continues by evoking the senses. Visitors can take a seat in a downtown 50’s inspired diner in the 1950s: The Fifties Gallery, listen to local 60’s bands, and watch urban plans to change how people will live in a future Vancouver in the final history gallery, 1960s-1970s: You Say You Want A Revolution. The modern era of Vancouver’s development spoils visitors with choice as they wander through these exciting decades. It is common to hear visitors share stories and relate to challenges Vancouver faced in its social, environmental, political and economic development. Entry points are ample with mega objects, anecdotes from the time and didactics. 

Vancouver History Galleries leaves the visitor spoiled with choice. Whether discovering Vancouver for the first time or re-discovering a long loved city, the curatorial voice is one that provides the sparks to provoke memory and discussion. There is an energetic plot to the Vancouver story that animates the past, present and future of the city. Conversation is echoed throughout the exhibition and there are ample opportunities for visitors to engage with the historical content being displayed.


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